Why do urban trees and urban forests matter?


A Uforest workshop at the Waldfestival in Bonn

On the 4th of July, the workshop “The Potential of Urban Forests” took place in the young atmosphere of the first Waldfestival in Bonn. The workshop focused on shedding light on the importance of these Nature-based Solutions within our cities. Based on the work of the Uforest project, the workshop was held by Mariateresa Montisci, trainee from our partner the European Forest Institute.
With an aim to educate, inspire and discuss, the workshop covered various topics, from the definition of urban forests (how big is a pocket forest?) to the multi-faceted benefits of urban forests (how they can reduce crime rates and violence?). In particular, this session also discussed how today’s challenges are strongly interconncected with urban forests (natural disasters can be less destructive if we have more trees?). Finally, through an interactive game called “the green web”, participants were encouraged to think about the interaction between different natural elements in the urban context and how large biodiveristy spots can be connected with forested areas At the same time, this session also discussed the consequences of human actions on the biodiversity and on the natural balance.
The Waldfestival was designed for young people between the ages of 16 and 26 interested in forest related topics. The event is organised by Schutzgemeinschaft Deutscher Wald (SDW) and Stiftung Umwelt und Entwicklung Nordrhein-Westfalen, two solid territorial realities dealing with environmental, nature and climate protection and conservation along with development education and information.

The programme of the festival was quite intense and included theoretical workshops, practical activities and fun events, sucha as campfire and silent disco.